American Horror Story is living up to its reputation. So far, the second season Asylum, is genuinely terrifying. The Halloween-appropriate “Tricks and Treats” took viewers deeper into the underbelly of Briarcliff, where the scares ranged from psychological to supernatural.

The Players:

  • Director: Bradley Buecker
  • Writer: James Wong
  • Cast: Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Lizzie Brocheré, James Cromwell, Jessica Lange

Episode Title: “Tricks and Treats”

It wouldn’t be a terrifying nun story without an exorcism, so AHS  brought one in. Meanwhile, Bloody Face makes another appearance (in the past and present), and more Briarcliff residents clue us in on their dirty secrets.

The Good:

  • Karma’s a Bitch: For Lana fans who were outraged by her partner having her committed, fret not. She got hers. She indulged some second thoughts about her cowardly decision, but that didn’t stop karma from bringing Bloody Face to her doorstep. There’s no gore, but the implication is that she’s a goner. Good riddance.
  • Exorcisms: You can’t have religious (specifically Catholic) imagery in a horror story without discussing possessions and exorcisms. This week, two parents brought their son Jedd, who was found drenched in blood and eating the heart of a cow. When they confronted him, he actually hissed! That’s like demonic possession 101, right? Instead of psychotherapy, Sister Jude prescribes the only twisted remedy for Jedd’s condition: Exorcism.
  • Lana’s Shocking Treatment: To show Lana that she’s now under Briarcliff’s control, Sister Jude okays the previously banned electroshock treatment, just for her. The scene is brutally realistic and immensely uncomfortable. The marks left on Lana’s face are an episode-long reminder of the torture.
  • Escape Plans: Lana understandably wants out of Briarcliff. She overhears Kit and Grace discuss the possibility of making a run for it and approaches Grace with a request: Ditch Kit and escape with her. Grace, who fervently (and correctly, it seems) believes Kit is innocent, refuses to leave him. When a power outage presents an escape opportunity, Grace chooses Kit and Lana turns them in. Way to alienate yourself from the other sane people.
  • Prostitute Play Date: This episode delved into Dr. Arden’s infatuation (possibly obsession) with Sister Mary and his twisted relationship with sex. When Shelley (the nympho) comes onto him, offering sex in exchange for five minutes in the sun, he calls her a slut and dismisses her. Later, we’re a fly on the wall for his uncomfortable date with a prostitute, who he forces to dress like a nun and stand in for Mary.

The So-So:

  • The Lovers: It looks like Adam Levine’s stint on AHS might be very brief. “Tricks and Treats” opens up with Jenna Dewan Tatum’s face-to-Bloody Face moment from last week. In true Hot Brunette in a Horror Movie fashion, she manages to escape and lock herself away. Unfortunately, from her vantage point, she has a perfect view of hubby Levine’s stabbing. Before the title sequence, he’s stabbed four or five times — at least. And remember, he’s also lost an entire arm. Things aren’t looking good for the singer-turned-actor.

Overall:

American Horror Story: Asylum is getting darker by the week and we’re only two episodes in. It’s hard to imagine where they’ll go and what depths they’ll plunge to. For now, we’ll enjoy the feeling of teetering at the top of the hill on this roller coaster.

Rating: 9/10

American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

What did you think of this week’s episode?